Saturday, October 10, 2009

Metric Marathon October 4, 2009 in Harwood, Maryland

I felt like I was entering another world as I drove through the farmlands of Maryland, ironically not far from my house-on-house neighborhood, to the town of Harwood, only 12 miles away.  I was expecting a small crowd at this event hosted by the Annapolis Striders, but the wonderful weather may have brought some last minute runners to the course that ultimately totaled almost 250 people .  Two of these last minuters were my friends Kathleen and Kelley.

I was told the course was hilly with significant hills at miles 12 and 14.  The course did not disappoint and lived up to it's "hilly" status.  And that hill at mile 14, it was mile 14.  According to my Garmin we totaled 2183 feet of ascent/descent during the 16 plus mile race!  I was surprised and my knees felt it the minute I crossed the finish line.

Kathleen, Kelley and I started out conservatively, mid pack, with no time goals other then to complete the distance.  We all settled into a comfortable pace and the miles literally passed by quickly as we shared conversation and laughs.  I was really having fun getting to know my new friends better. 

I did not carry any fuel except for one Gu.  The water stations were spread out every 2 to 4 miles (I believe) which in general was fine.  Got a little anxious for water once.  Kelley was kind enough to share a few jelly beans later in the race. 

Around mile 14 or so, I started thinking that maybe I was feeling too good.  With only a little more then 2 miles left I decided to pick up the pace and see what happened.   My motto of "I can do anything for 20 minutes or less" was in the back of my mind as I tried to finish strong.  Which, I believe I did.

I am super pleased with this race.  Not so much for the time, but for the real joy I had in the event.  I am not sure I smiled more during a race then this one.  The company certainly had a lot to do with it.  Running is about so much more then a fast time.  Sometimes the best races may be your slowest.  I feel really good about where I am right now.  Enjoying the runs and feeling that drive again. 

A big hip-hip-horray for race director Melissa Currence!  She and the volunteers did a fantastic job.

Okay, so time may not be the most important but here are the dirty details.  I hit my lap button at every mile marker, which are never exactly 1 mile, so the actual distance I ran is noted:

1m:  8:45
.99m: 8:23
1m:  8:14
1.03m:  8:36
1m:  8:37
.99m:  8:42
.99m:  8:34
.99m:  8:24
1.01m:  8:38
.99m:  8:36
1.03m:  9:07 
.95m:  8:04
1.01m:  8:17
1.02m:  8:32
.98m:  8:32
.98m:  7:51
.31m:  2:18 (a 7:32 pace).  So, looks like I did pick up that last little bit.

16.24 miles in 2:18.23 (8:31 avg pace)
112 overall out of 240
18th female overall
5th in age group of 30-39

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